Sergio Gabriel Martinez vs. Kermit Cintron
Sergio Martinez 153 lbs drew with Kermit Cintron 154 lbs by MD in round 12 of 12
- Date: 2009-02-14
- Location: BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida, USA
- Referee: Frank Santore Jr
- Judge: Peter Trematerra 113-113
- Judge: Tom Kaczmarek 116-110
- Judge: James Ged O'Connor 113-113
- Martinez landed 151 of 558 total punches (27 percent) and 98 of 283 power punches (25 percent), while Cintron landed 103 of 534 total punches (19 percent) and 52 of 186 power punches (28 percent).
- At the official weigh-in, Martinez tipped the scales at 153¼ pounds and Cintron came in at 154. Both weighed 164 on the night of the fight.
- The fight aired on HBO's Boxing After Dark. It was the co-main event along with Nate Campbell vs. Ali Funeka.
Ladies, gents and Fight Freaks, we have our first serious candidate for robbery of the year. This was no draw. Martinez easily beat Cintron, and he did it twice. The 33-year-old from Argentina first deserved a knockout at the end of the seventh round, which was horrifically overturned by referee Frank Santore in an egregious error, and then he deserved a clear decision against Cintron, a former welterweight titleholder moving up in weight. Between them, Martinez and Cintron had only lost to Antonio Margarito -- Martinez getting stopped by him in 2000 and Cintron getting knocked out by him in 2005 and 2008. Facing each other, they figured to make a good fight, but it turned out to be a bit disappointing and was mired in bad officiating all around.
First, Santore blew the call on the cut Cintron suffered over his left eye early in the fight, ruling it was from a punch when HBO's replay showed it was clearly produced by an accidental head butt. Then, at the end of the seventh, Martinez seemed to score a knockout. He drilled Cintron with a clean left hand, Cintron wobbled backward and went down. With Cintron on his knees, Santore counted, reached 10, waved his arms and declared the fight over. Cintron argued, claiming he was hit by a head butt and Santore bought the nonsense after a delay. The video replays clearly showed there was nothing other than Martinez's left hand nailing Cintron. Amazingly, after a 2½-minute break between rounds to clear the ring, the fight resumed. It became more spirited because Martinez was clearly ticked off to have been robbed of a clean knockout.
HBO's announcers continually talked about the knockout and presented video replays from various angles, but there was not one replay that showed Cintron was clearly off the floor before Santore reached 10. Besides, once a ref says "10," that's it, the fight is over. Look at this as if it were an NFL game and a coach challenged a ruling. In the NFL, without a definitive replay showing otherwise, the ruling on the field stands. Same deal here as there was no definitive evidence that Cintron was up and Santore had ended the fight. Period.
Still, the fight continued and Martinez was outboxing Cintron, 29, who could do little but follow him around the ring. Clearly, he never had a lesson from anyone about trying to cut off the ring. In the 12th round, Santore docked Martinez for hitting behind the head in a ticky-tack call because it was not on purpose, not damaging and he hadn't given him a previous hard warning. That point deduction cost Martinez the fight. This was a highway robbery in every way -- from the knockout that was overturned to the weak point deduction to the horrible scoring.
Martinez, who, as interim titleholder, is the mandatory challenger for Vernon Forrest, deserves his title shot immediately. Cintron showed very little in the fight and promoter Lou DiBella, who also promotes Martinez and was therefore not in his usual volcanic state over the decision, said Cintron would return to the welterweight division, where he could wind up facing Miguel Cotto this summer if Cotto wins his vacant title bout with Michael Jennings on Saturday.